Glenview, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) Trooper Christopher Lambert was killed in the line of duty on Saturday evening, when he was hit by a vehicle as he was rendering aid at the scene of a three-vehicle crash.
Trooper Lambert, 34, was heading home at the end of his shift at approximately 4:30 p.m., when he came upon the multi-vehicle collision in the northbound lanes of Interstate 294 in Glenview, ISP Director Leo Schmitz said during a press conference, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
He then made a “typical trooper move,” and pulled to the side of the snowy roadway to check on the victims involved, Director Schmitz explained, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“He sees a three-vehicle crash, he positions his vehicle in the left-hand lanes so to save the lives of those people in the crash,” he said.
As Trooper Lambert was standing at the collision site, a northbound driver failed to move over or to slow down, and slammed into him, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
A nurse at the scene rushed to his aid and performed CPR until emergency medical personnel arrived.
Trooper Lambert was taken to Glenbrook Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:24 p.m., the Chicago Tribune reported.
“He died preventing others from injury,” ISP Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda said.
“He’s a hero,” Director Schmitz agreed, according to the Chicago Sun Times. “Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself.”
The driver who struck Trooper Lambert is cooperating with police, WLS reported.
The investigation into the cause of the original crash is ongoing.
“We lost our trooper, we became weaker,” Director Schmitz said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We lost one of our own, one of our best. Everybody loved him.”
“This is a tremendous loss which could have been prevented and should have never happened,” he said, according to WGN.
Trooper Lambert, a U.S. Army veteran, had served ISP for five years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was assigned to the Tollway District.
His coworker, ISP Trooper Duane Chappell, described him as a “go-getter,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
“He worked really hard every single day for five years,” Trooper Chappell said.
Trooper Lambert leaves behind his wife and their one-year-old daughter, as well as his parents.
Law enforcement officers and firefighters stood out in the snowstorm to salute Trooper Lambert’s body as the procession passed by on the way to the medical examiner’s office, WGN reported.
“He got things done,” Director Schmitz said. “We’re going to miss him.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.